Ministry Update: April 2020

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying for our family, and the children/families our ministry serves.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been able to provide groceries and hygiene supplies for the AOS migrant/mobile home community we serve regularly through our neighborhood programs. We’re also monitoring and responding to needs of households our KidVenturez and camp programs serve (a good number of which are elderly grandparents with custodial guardianship over the grandkids, and shouldn’t be going out into public places right now). The support of our faithful partners is helping us to serve these households in a time of crisis.

Experts predict that our nation will get back to relative “normalcy” sometime around June, coincidentally the time our summer camp ministry kicks off. Your Easter gift to Breakaway Outreach will help give at-risk children a life-changing, hope-restoring summer camp experience this year, at a very critical time when kids will need to be processing all that has unfolded during this worldwide tragedy. They will be ripe with questions about God, faith, suffering, grief, and loss (read further to see our strategy for serving any kids who may not be able to participate in a residential summer camp due to this pandemic).

During times of pandemic, the body of Christ has historically shined the brightest. If you want to know how Christianity went from an obscure and marginal movement to representing around 6 million believers by AD 300, historians will tell you that the way Christians responded to plagues was a huge factor. I wrote about these historical accounts in the fourth chapter of my book “Shapers: Leadership That Restores Hope, Rebuilds Lives.”

The Gospel doesn’t take a back seat in times like this; it remains our steering wheel. Reaching vulnerable kids with hope isn’t on hold. Shaping resilience in young lives, helping struggling families, and strengthening communities isn’t being postponed. Compassion isn’t canceled. Now, perhaps more than ever in this generation, souls are searching for hope and ready for spiritual answers to the world’s unrest.

As a dear friend, partner, and shareholder in this ministry, we want you to know that our outreach efforts are not paused during “social distancing.” We have been engaged in serving area families facing hardship in the midst of this pandemic, bringing essential food and hygiene aid to low-income households that our ministry serves throughout the year. We are also confident that our Summer of Hope 2020 is going to reach more kids and families with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ than we could have ever imagined before this global emergency.

Most of our friends understand that this is the time of year we are raising funds for kids to go to summer camp. Breakaway provides day camps and residential summer camps for at-risk kids all across our region. More than 95% of the kids who attend our camps in Tennessee would likely not be able to participate in a summer camp without the financial aid of a scholarship. Over the years, we have provided camp scholarships for kids affected by economic insecurity, family hardship, parental incarceration, domestic abuse, and various forms of trauma. Our camps have also been a place of refuge for foster children, orphans, and kids from migrant/refugee communities. We are driven by the belief that no child should have to face hardship alone.

What makes Breakaway camp so unique? It is one of the few camps built specifically for kids facing systemic hardship and high-risk social factors. Everything from our Bible curriculum to the daily recreational activities are structured around building social resilience and spiritual enrichment, taking into account the special needs of our campers. Because of the common struggles that our campers share, they know that this community is a safe place to talk about their problems without risk of being stigmatized, branded, or labeled.

This year’s camp curriculum for our residential and day camps is called “God of the Odds.” It’s based on the Old Testament life of Gideon. This resilient “overcomer” story will resonate with our kids in several particular ways—Gideon was born into family hardship, his future looked bleak, he struggled with injustices, his people were forced into “social distancing” due to Midianite oppression, he had feelings of insecurity and inferiority, he faced insurmountable odds, and yet he saw God come through despite those odds. What a powerfully urgent message for kids living in the middle of a global crisis!!!

We understand that Coronavirus could affect how we flesh out our camp ministry this summer, but it will not stop the impact or the creative ingenuity of our outreach. As we continue to prepare for our “normal” camp ministry, we are also implementing a contingency campaign to distribute “camp in a backpack” to any kids who may not be able to participate in a typical summer camp due to this pandemic or its ripple affects. The backpacks, delivered to children across the East Tennessee region, will include: Bibles, daily Bible lessons, games, crafts, nutritious snacks, a birthday gift card, and a personalized note from a “Breakaway Angel” who is praying for them. They will know that they are not forgotten! We can’t empower kids without your help. Any donation you can make right now will ensure that underserved children get a summer camp experience in one form or another. Thank you for standing with the children, struggling families, and us during this pandemic. We are all in this together, and we will prevail by the grace of God.

God has made us for such a time as this. These aren’t days for fear or trepidation, but days that call for bold faith and gritty courage in the face of an unseen adversary. Nobody understands the concept of an invisible enemy more than Bible-believing followers of Jesus Christ, yet we know WHO wins this war. Easter is an occasion to celebrate and proclaim His triumph over every enemy—including the grave! HE IS THE GOD OF OUR ODDS, and He will never fail you, beloved. Let me encourage you with two unshakeable thoughts David penned in scripture: Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread,” and Psalm 27:13 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” He will provide, my friend. He always has. God bless you and yours during this trial.

Betting on the God of the Odds,
Jimmy and Cindy Larche

St. Patrick’s Day: Reclaiming Patrick the Missionary

The factual accounts of Patrick, missionary to Ireland, are even more compelling than the folklore. Telling the true story of Patrick offers an inspiring saga of grace, mercy, and world-changing missionary work.

During a time when the beautiful island was shrouded in terrible darkness, Patrick lit a fire in pagan 5th century Ireland, ushering Christianity into the country. Warlords and druids ruled the land. But across the sea in Britain, a teenager was poised to bring this nation to God.

From Slave to Missionary

As a teenager Patrick was kidnapped, taken from his home in southern Britain, and sold into slavery on the island of Ireland. He spent six years tending his master’s flocks on the slopes of a Mountain. Patrick recounts his time as a slave in his memoir entitled The Confession: “I prayed a hundred times in the day and almost as many at night,” he said. It was through those sufferings that he came to know Christ and be identified with Him. He converted to Christianity and earned a reputation as a fervent evangelist.

In the dark of the night Patrick escaped his bonds and traveled 200 miles cross-country to the west coast. He found a ship ready to sail, but was refused passage. After a desperate prayer, he was allowed aboard. Patrick eventually returned to his home and family. His experience of God’s grace and provision solidified his faith. He began to study for the ministry.

God spoke to Patrick in his dreams and told him that he would return to Ireland and serve as a missionary to the people who had kept him in bondage. One night he had a dream. There was a man who came from Ireland with a whole bunch of letters. He opened up one of the letters and it said “The Voice of the Irish.” And then he heard a voice coming out of this letter that said, “Holy boy, please return to us. We need you.”

Patrick struggled in his soul. Could he return to Ireland and minister to the same people who had enslaved him? Once again, he turned to God in prayer and felt compelled to return. He set sail in a small ship as a missionary to Ireland. After Patrick landed at the mouth of the Slaney River and set foot on this shore, it was said: “a new era dawned on this island.”

He did not return with malice in his heart, but as a missionary eager to convert the Irish. Patrick came to face and help his former enemies who had enslaved him. He engaged the chieftains and their druid priests and proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, serving them and doing them a great favor. He used a shamrock as an object lesson to illustrate the central teaching of the holy trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

Patrick served in regions of Ireland where outsiders had never traveled. While roaming through Ireland he preached to pagans and also instructed Christian believers. Patrick trained Irish helpers and ordained native clergy. He was bringing a new way of life to a violent, war-oriented pagan culture. His work was both groundbreaking and Christ-honoring.

In 432 A.D., Patrick built a church on the site of the present day St. Patrick’s Memorial Church in Saul—the first ever Christian church in all of Ireland. It’s considered the cradle of Irish Christianity. Patrick’s ministry lasted 29 years. He baptized over 120,000 Irishmen and planted 300 churches.

Discipleship Comes With a Cost

Rev. Robert Eames said, “I honestly feel that what Patrick taught Ireland was that there is a cost to discipleship, but it’s a cost worth paying. And I believe, to bring this right up to date, the church of St. Patrick must be constantly saying to people, ‘Discipleship demands of you, but it’s a cost that Christ will help you to pay.’”

“Daily I expect to be murdered or betrayed or reduced to slavery if the occasion arises,” Patrick wrote while serving in Ireland. “But I fear nothing, because of the promises of heaven.”

In fifth-century Ireland women were a commodity. Selling a daughter or arranging a politically strategic marriage was common and advantageous to a family. Patrick upset the social order by teaching women they had a choice in Christ. As God converted these women to Christianity, some became full-time servants of Christ in the face of strong family opposition. Patrick told women they could be “virgins for Christ” by remaining chaste. This newfound control was appealing to many women, but it angered many men who believed Patrick was taking away their prized possessions.

At the time many scholars regarded Ireland as the end of the earth, or at least the edge of the inhabitable portion of earth. The collapsing Roman Empire supported many beliefs that civilized society was drawing to a close. Politicians and philosophers viewed Ireland as barbaric and untamable. Many Christians did not believe the Irish were worthy of being saved. At that point in history, Patrick truly served as a pioneering missionary to a forgotten people.

Patrick advocated learning among Christians. He promoted the ascetic life and monasticism. The Irish culture did not place great value on literacy or education. Patrick, however, promoted studying the Scriptures as well as reading books written by fathers of the faith.

Recovering the True Patrick

Patrick entered an Ireland full of paganism and idol worship. But just a few short decades after Patrick arrived, a healthy, Christ-honoring church was thriving. The Irish church was so strong that in the centuries to come it would send missionaries to evangelize much of continental Europe. Patrick’s legacy lives on through the countless spiritual grandchildren he left to continue his work.

Patrick lived in a way that brought honor to God. His devotion and resolute obedience offer examples for all followers of Christ. Patrick stood in the face of great challenges and did not falter. His service, his life, and his unwavering commitment to spreading the gospel of Christ are as commendable today as they were in the fifth century.

Patrick wrote a poem titled “The Breastplate,” in which he wrote:

“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

We as Christians have allowed the modern, secular customs of St. Patrick’s Day to steal away one of the greatest missionaries in Christian history and reduce his memory to leprechauns, green beer, and fictional tales. Let’s take back our beloved servant of Christ and share God’s glory achieved during the life of Patrick the missionary to Ireland. Let’s share the true legacy of this great Christian evangelist.

How To Know God: Discover a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ

Missional Living: What Does It Mean to Be ‘Sent’?

Understanding Missional Living

This post is the first in a three-part series exploring the role of the sending church in missions. Skip ahead to Part II here. The following is an excerpt from The Sending Church Defined, written by Upstream Collective. It can be downloaded as a free e-book or purchased in print.

Nothing Moves Without Being Sent

What makes you go? Not in the “Go, therefore” or “Daddy, I gotta go!” sense, but just at the most basic level. Go. Move. Do something. Your brain sends signals to your body and it stands. Pretty simple, you know, except for the dozens of muscles and bones it takes working perfectly together, not to mention 60,000 miles of blood vessels escorting millions of cells to the right places just so you can be on your feet.

If that’s not mind-blowing enough…what moves the brain in the first place?

Why start a missions article with science? Well, thanks to CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” geeking is hip. And it reflects perhaps humanity’s biggest question: what started all this movement? Some say it was a bang. Others look to an old idea referred to as the cosmological argument.

It says basically that nothing moves without first being caused to go. If we traced every movement in the history of the world back, there would have to be something that began the action, a “prime mover.” From its first words the Bible points out that this prime mover is God.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3, ESV)

God is a Sender 

In the beginning, there’s just God. No heavens nor earth. No people. No ‘once upon a time’. Only the Triune God being God for eternity past—which honestly makes my brain hurt. We don’t know much about what that looked like, but Jesus gives us a hint in his prayer to the Father from John 17:

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.John 17:24, NIV

The Father, Son, and Spirit expressed glory and love in perfect union. It was an exchange that came straight from the heart of who he is. This is crucial to understanding God not as One who needed to create something, but as One who had it all within himself. Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to Christian Faith (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2012), 19-20.

From that setting he makes the story as we know it go. How does he do it? The same old expression, this time extended outside himself. He emanates. He initiates. In a sense, he sends.

He sends his Spirit to hover over the waters, ready for a word to bring it all to life through the Son. Like so many things in Genesis 1-2, this sets a pattern for how God will keep his story rolling. As a poetic commentary celebrating God’s rule over creation, Psalm 104:29-30 describes the crazy way that everything waits on him to move:

When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

God Sends Us

Not simply creating a man and woman, God commissions, or sends, Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden to “fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over [it]” (Genesis 1:28). Forget peasants, says T. Desmond Alexander, these guys entered the story as royalty, “God’s viceroys [who] govern the earth on his behalf.” T. Desmond Alexander, From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2009), 76.  So it makes sense that the imago Dei (Imago Dei is a Latin phrase that means “image of God,” the basic way that people mirror God) makes for little sent ones.

And this is not just God’s ideal; even after sin corrupts the world he continues to send his Spirit, word, angels, law, messengers, judges, priests, kings, and prophets—not to mention his own Son. Paul writes,

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons, Galatians 4:5

So it should be no surprise when the Son looks to his own and says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). The information age certainly has its privileges, namely the common knowledge of what many died longing to see— how the missio Dei actually works.

The Sender sends the Sent One who sends the Spirit (Acts 13:4) who sends the apostles (note the Greek, apostolos, meaning “sent one”) who start a chain reaction of sent-ones. The sending only returns to its original form when you track to the end of the story, where you will find not a garden of two, but a city of countless.

There the eternal glory and love of the Triune God will no longer be extended outside himself because the people of God will be hidden in Christ as “his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23). The mission will be complete. New Testament scholar Andreas J. Kostenberger sums it up better than I could:

We have understood the notion of ‘mission’ as intimately bound up with God’s saving plan that moves from creation to new creation, and as framing the entire story of Scripture. It has to do with God’s salvation reaching to the ends of the earth: that is, his gracious movement in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to rescue a desperately needy world that is in rebellion against him and stands under his righteous judgment. Clearly the notion of ‘sending’ is central to any treatment of mission. The Lord of the Scriptures is a missionary God who reaches out to the lost, and sends his servants, and particularly his beloved Son, to achieve his gracious purposes of salvation. Andreas J. Kostenberger, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A Biblical Theology of Mission (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2001), 268-269.

God, out of the overflow of his character, is a Sender. We then, by nature, are sent. The imago Dei makes it pulse in our veins. The missio Dei moves us to get on our feet and go. So that’s why we go. We’re sent.

In what ways do you see your church living out their sending identity? What are some ways that you could partner with your church in living a sent life?

The post What Does it Mean to be Sent? appeared first on TEAM.

Must Read Missions Books for the New Year

Looking for some interesting reads on the topic of missions? Here are some popular missions books worth recommending:

Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions | John Piper

This third edition of Piper’s bestselling book shows that worship is the ultimate goal of the church and provides readers with a sound theological foundation for missions. Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate.

Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate Cultures | Sarah A. Lanier

In this quick read, Lanier provides a practical introduction to understanding cultures through the categories of “hot-climate” (relationship-oriented) and “cold-climate” (task-oriented) cultures. Foreign to Familiar is a splendidly written, well researched work on cultures. Anyone traveling abroad should not leave home without this valuable resource! Required reading for cross cultural workers. This book creates within us a greater appreciation for our extended families around the world and an increased desire to better serve them.

Peace Child | Don Richardson

This gripping true story is the firsthand account of Don Richardson, who served among a cannibalistic people group. In this tough climate, Richardson built a bridge between the Sawi’s sacrificial culture and the sacrifice of Christ to successfully explain the gospel for the first time. Peace Child is a great read for anyone interested in serving among unreached people groups.

Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation | Jason Mandryk

Now in its seventh edition, Operation World outlines key demographic, historical and spiritual data for every country in the world. The content is highly organized, making it easy to look up specific facts quickly, and there is also a daily prayer guide to help you pray for the nations.

Through Gates of Splendor | Elisabeth Elliot

Written in 1957, this classic missions book is written by Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband Jim was killed by the Auca Indians in Ecuador. Elliot details his journey with the other four missionaries who lost their lives sharing the gospel.

The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty | Peter Greer and Phil Smith

This challenging book outlines the distinction between a handout and hand up in the way we approach poverty alleviation. Greer and Smith draw on real-life experience to offer practical and actionable ways that individuals can contribute to the economic development of their community and the world. It’s a great read for anyone who wants to use community development as a platform to share the gospel.

Great Commission Companies: The Emerging Role of Business in Missions | Steve Rundle and Tom Steffen

For many countries that are socially and legally closed the gospel, workers must use creative methods to share their faith. In Great Commission Companies, the authors explain how business people are using their acumen to start companies and share the gospel all over the world.

A Spirituality of Fundraising | Henri J.M. Nouwen

Have you ever raised funds for your church, another organization, or a mission trip? Maybe you felt uncomfortable about asking people to donate money. It’s time to change the way you view this important task. Henri Nouwen explains why fundraising for ministry is not a burden but rather a tool for discipleship. “Fundraising is, first and foremost, a ministry.” Nouwen approaches fundraising from a position of strength rather than weakness, seeing it as spiritual work. “Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging,” he points out. The core of fundraising is casting a compelling vision that people want to be part of.

Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission | J.D. Payne

“The nations” are now converging in neighborhoods around North America because of recent trends in globalization and migration. In this practical book, J.D. Payne offers insights and examples on how Christians can make meaningful cross-cultural relationships right in their backyard.

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose in Your Life | Os Guinness

In this thoughtful work, Guinness contemplates the deep question, “What am I here for?” Guinness exhorts readers to consider what God’s calling is for their lives, stating, “No idea short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment.” For those looking to be able to articulate God’s specific purpose for your life, this book is a key resource.

Germany Missions Report: Baseball Camp

2014 Germany Missions Report

One of the unique aspects about Breakaway Outreach is that we are not only committed to serving the under-served children and at-risk youth in our communities, but we are consistently making disciples by empowering, equipping, and mobilizing these same kids to grow spiritually and serve others.

Two great pictures of this are seen in Antwon and Ryan.
missions report
We love to tell Antwon’s story (pictured above with Jimmy)… as a 9-yr old prisoner’s kid, he attended our summer camp for the first time in 2007. He has attended each year and has steadily become more involved with church life over the last few years. At seventeen, Antwon just returned from his first overseas mission trip in Germany, where he had the opportunity to coach baseball to children and share his testimony with multitudes of German young people.

Another teenager who served on that mission trip, Ryan (pictured below at Breakaway’s summer camp), was recommended for our summer camp in 2009, shortly after losing his mother and little sister in a car accident. Ryan gave his life to Jesus at summer camp, and was later baptized and taken in by a loving church family. Today, he serves faithfully on the worship team at his church.

germany missions report

A few years ago, a divinely orchestrated sequence of events led us to begin an outreach partnership in Germany. This outreach is reaching youth and children through gospel-centered baseball camps. It’s a powerful evangelistic movement that is multiplying quickly in Germany. This summer, we saw young people responding to the Gospel during “Team Times” on the baseball field, as well as souls coming to Jesus through the camp evening services. During the first evening of camp we had a teenager from Zimbabwe come forward for salvation. She came weeping and confessed, “I saw Jesus with arms open wide saying, ‘Come to me.’”

One of the most powerful testimonies from baseball camp was from a single mother of a family that was once “Romani” gypsies. She approached Jimmy after an evening worship service, asking if she could tell him her story…

In 2011, her family was new to Germany, after stints in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy. They were having a very difficult time fitting into the culture and learning the language. It was during this time that they were given a brochure about baseball camp. They found it intriguing but didn’t follow up with it until the following summer. When they heard that baseball camp was coming again in 2012, she registered her three kids to attend.

One by one her children began following Jesus. They were so excited that they invited their mother to come to the camp evening services at the church. She declined, but was so happy to see her kids finally finding a community to become a part of in Germany. The next year, in 2013, she finally obliged to her kids’ constant begging, and attended a camp evening service. Her family was showered with love from the local church family and from the Americans who were visiting.

She has been no stranger to church ever since!

Last year, when baseball camp was over, there was discussion about whether or not there would be a baseball camp in 2014. The church talked about taking a year off, but too many parents came forward and said, “We must have baseball camp next year!” The Romani “gypsy” and single mother of three, came forward and said, “I don’t have much to offer. My home isn’t very big. But I will do whatever it takes to help make baseball camp happen next year—even opening up my home to host the Americans.”

That mother was a remarkable host parent this year to two of our Americans during baseball camp—one being Antwon. Her 14-year old son was baptized along with two others whose lives had been transformed by baseball camp. Her son will be coming to America to serve with our ministry this October through December. We are so excited to receive him, fill him up with some great southern cooking, and shower him with more and more of God’s amazing love.

As that mother looked Jimmy in the eyes during the camp evening service, her voice cracking and her face wet with tears, she told him to go back home and tell the Americans that it is all worth it.

Her family has been transformed by the power of God’s love. And the instrument that God has used to reach her household is baseball—a simple American pastime, but a dynamic evangelistic tool in Germany.

God is using the simple obedience of you and me to bring the nations to Himself; Germany, Zimbabwe, Romani gypsies, prisoners’ kids, orphans, the margins of society to the ends of the earth!

We are so humbled to be serving a God who always gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). May we keep planting, keep watering, and keep looking to Him to finish what He has begun through the spirit of outreach and missions in our lives.

Sharing His heart for every nation, every tribe, and every people,

Jimmy and Cindy Larche
Founders and Lead Missionaries

Shame is No Longer My Name: Ministry to At-Risk Youth

Shame_450Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at Camp David of the Ozarks Banquet for Hope. Their summer camp for prisoners’ kids is very similar to our ministry to at-risk youth, Breakaway Outreach.

Founders Benjamin and Grace Smith are inspiring folks who have written a powerful book about working with at-risk youth called Shame is No Longer My Name. Here are four reasons why you should read this book: Continue reading “Shame is No Longer My Name: Ministry to At-Risk Youth”

The World’s Top Missionary-Sending Country Will Surprise You

Gordon-Conwell’s Center for the Study of Global Christianity calculates that Christians sent out approximately 400,000 international missionaries in 2010. And nearly half of the world’s top missionary-sending countries are now located in the global South.

The report puts numbers behind the dramatic rise in missionary sending from countries that many American Christians still associate only with mission destinations.

Continue reading “The World’s Top Missionary-Sending Country Will Surprise You”

William Booth: Prophet of the Poor

Booth_WilliamHe was called “the Prophet of the Poor,” was born into poverty, and worked in the midst of poverty his whole life. When he died, 150,000 people filed by his casket, and 40,000, including Queen Mary, attended his funeral.

He started an army!

He was persecuted at times for his methods, yet millions have become followers of Christ and millions more in need have been reached out to as a result of this one man’s passion in life.

William Booth (1829-1912) and his wife, Catherine, preached in tents, in haylofts, and in rooms behind a pigeon shop. “Go for souls and go for the worst!” was their cry. Today the Salvation Army marches on with 25,000 “officers” in 91 countries.

Booth once hailed: “While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end!”

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 ESV)

He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 22:16 ESV)

We can never live to make a difference while living for ourselves!

… and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:15 ESV)

Safe Theology. Dangerous Life.

I love these thoughts Noah Kaye wrote down after hearing Floyd McClung speak on values, safe theology, and what is really dangerous:

Many people worry about their safety and security. We happen to live and serve in South Africa, a country bound by fear and crime and loaded with gates, locks and alarms. But we also serve in a missional community where many people are preparing to go to hostile places around the world where the gospel has not yet reached. So, danger is a very real thing for many of our friends who are counting the cost of giving their lives.

Last week, I was listening to Floyd (our leader here) teach on values and he started talking about danger in a way that stirred my heart.

  • Living in constant disobedience to Jesus… that is dangerous.
  • When our greatest goal is to work 70 hours a week for 35 years so we can have a nice house and a pension… that is dangerous.
  • When a Mom and Dad compromise the will of God while their kids watch on… that is dangerous.
  • When you are more interested in insuring your life on this earth (70 years if you’re lucky) while you do nothing to insure your life for all eternity… that is dangerous.
  • Wanna hear something else dangerous? Dangerous is when you install gates, alarms and locks all around you and your family while you open your doors wide to the father of lies, the great destroyer and accuser, Satan.

Perhaps it would do us all some good to consider the differences between danger in the world and danger in the Kingdom.

Esther: Taking Those Necessary Risks

If we want to be part of the bigger picture of life, we must be willing to do the same thing Esther did: we must be willing to renounce comfort as the ultimate value of our lives, and make God’s glory alone—our sole ambition.

Esther became a missionary:

Continue reading “Esther: Taking Those Necessary Risks”